By JOE MANDAK
Sheriff’s deputies in northern Florida have joined the search for a third suspect in the attempted carjacking and stabbing of Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman Mike Adams this month.
Columbia County deputies began searching Tuesday for Jerrell Whitlock, of Pittsburgh, according to Sgt. Edward Seifert, spokesman for the department based in Lake City, Fla.
“There is some intelligence that may put him in our area,” Seifert said, declining to be more specific.
Florida authorities are working with Pittsburgh police, Allegheny County sheriff’s deputies and the Pennsylvania state police to locate Whitlock, Seifert said.
Authorities have searched several residences and other locations in northern Florida but have yet to find Whitlock, Pittsburgh police spokeswoman Diane Richard said. Richard wouldn’t say whether Whitlock has relatives or other ties to that section of Florida but asked the public for information on finding him.
Whitlock is wanted on charges of attempted homicide, attempted robbery, aggravated assault and conspiracy for his alleged role in the attack on Adams, and Seifert said Whitlock should be “considered armed and dangerous.”
The Florida deputies have reached out to television news stations in Jacksonville and Gainesville to broadcast Whitlock’s picture and are urging viewers to call 911 if they see him, Seifert said.
Two other men, Dquay Means, 26, and Michael Paranay, 25, are already jailed on charges like those against Whitlock. They were arrested two days after Adams was attacked June 1.
According to a criminal complaint, the suspects tried to rob Adams as he left a restaurant on the city’s club- and bar-laden South Side before 3 a.m. and tried to steal his vehicle.
Police contend Means held Adams at gunpoint while Whitlock stabbed him and Paranay sucker-punched him.
Adams had surgery for stab wounds to his leg and forearm and has said he expects to recover by training camp July 26. The 6-foot-7, 345-pound lineman is in his second year with the Steelers after being drafted out of Ohio State.
Adams is penciled in as the starting right tackle but is being replaced in organized team activities and this week’s minicamp by fellow second-year lineman Kelvin Beachum.